Monday, September 20, 2010
Local Blackbelt Brings Jiu Jitsu, MMA Training To The Annapolis/Arnold Area
By Ron Hawkins , Annapolis Brazilian Jiu Jitsu News - September 19, 2010
ARNOLD, Md. –Brazilian jiu-jitsu has never been bigger in the United States.
As mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions have grown in popularity, with monthly pay-per-view broadcasts making millions of dollars and the top fighters now better known than the heavyweight boxing champion, countless people have decided they want to learn the Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) techniques that form an integral part of the sport.
Jon Garfield, a 1st degree black belt who opened the first BJJ and MMA studio in the Annapolis area – Garfield Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – understands well why the once relatively obscure martial arts discipline he has practiced for more than 15 years has gone mainstream.
“It’s all about confidence,” Garfield said. “When you’re training in jiu-jitsu, one, you get in great shape and, two, you learn – and practice – what to do if things turn bad. It’s not about being a ‘tough guy’ or a ‘tough girl’ and looking for trouble, it’s about knowing how to defend yourself. Most people never have to use the moves they learn outside of the gym, but just knowing them changes how they feel about themselves and how they carry themselves.”
Garfield’s students echoed his comments.
“Training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu is, without exaggeration, one of the best things I’ve ever done,” said Steve Adornato, a brown belt who has trained under Garfield for several years. “Jon is an amazing instructor and, with what I’ve learned, I always feel confident that I’m prepared for any situation.”
Both Garfield and Adornato serve as Air Force military police officers in the Maryland Air National Guard Security Forces Squadron and have taught BJJ basics to members of the unit. Adornato is also one of several of Garfield’s students who compete in mixed martial arts competitions.
“I can’t tell you how exciting that is for me,” Garfield said of watching his students compete. “For them to have the guts to go out there and put their skills and training to the test is just incredible. And some of these guys have the potential to go far in MMA.”
Garfield noted that his students benefit from his studio being an affiliate of the Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association, which was formed by Pedro Sauer, the only 8th degree Gracie jiu-jitsu red and black belt in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. Sauer trained with the legendary Gracie family, originators of Gracie jiu-jitsu – the specific style of Brazilian jiu-jitsu that is taught in Garfield’s studio – from the time he was 15, and he serves as the head instructor at Garfield Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
“The two things that I’m proudest of are the hard work of my students and my affiliation with Pedro Sauer,” Garfield said. “He is widely regarded to be one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu teachers in the world. Even after doing this since the early ‘90s, I’m still learning new things from him.”
The studio often hosts some of the top-ranked boxers, mixed martial arts fighters and BJJ practitioners in the country, and it typically offers training by Sauer at least once each month.
The high level of instruction that is available, Garfield stressed, should not intimidate people who are new to martial arts. Anybody who wants to boost their fitness and confidence – even if they have no interest in MMA and do not dream of becoming a black belt – can benefit from the training, he said.
“We have every kind of student you can think of,” Garfield said. “Men and women, children and adults, beginners and competitive fighters. We make sure that each person gets the individual attention needed to make progress toward their goals. We want them to walk out the door feeling better than they did when they walked in and looking forward to the next lesson.”
Garfield Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is located at 1244 Ritchie Highway, Unit 3, in Arnold, Md. More information is available by visiting www.garfieldbjj.com or www.garfieldmma.com or by calling Jon Garfield at (443) 962-3826 or e-mailing him at Jon@GarfieldBJJ.com.
5 Tips For Picking A Good BJJ and MMA School
1. Clean Facility. With staff and other bacteria associated with the mats, ensure that the facility is clean.
2. Qualified Instructors. Just because the instructor is a blackbelt, doesn't make him qualified. Check his credentials.
3. Service. Make sure the facility is focused on you.
4. Price and Fees . Prices should not be considerably low. Remember you will get what you pay for.
5. Curriculum. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu curriculum is important for students to know where they are and to be able to set goals for progression.
Commercial of Garfield Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts as seen on Spike TV and Discovery.
Garfield Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Highlight Video:
Competition Highlight Video of Garfield Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.